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Familiar Faces Top 15th Queens Team

by on May 5, 2015

Familiar Faces Top 15th Queens Team

This year’s event began with 10 teams on April 10th and ended with 11 and a house team. This tournament, which began in 2001, is for two player teams whose ratings average under 2000, with prizes for the top two teams overall, top team with average rating below 1700 and for the top score on Board 1 and Board 2. Teams with the same composition as last year included the top-ranked “Double Checks” (Bill Arluck (2111) and Ira Cohen (1833)) with a 1972 average, the “Benighted Knights” (Ed Kopiecki (2044) and Ken Sasmor (1866)) at 1955, the “Steinitz Eccentrics” (Dick Murphy (1911) and Tony Lorenzo (1854)) at 1882½ (they change their team name every year: prior names included “Alekhine’s Gun” and “Capablanca’s Machine”), “M to the 4th” (Mulazim Muwwakkil (1871) and Mikhail Mordukhay (1747)) at 1809, and the “Unstoppable Knights” (Guy Rawlins (1689) and Jim Sorotnik (1545)) at 1617. Other regulars took on new partners, including Ed Frumkin (2012) and Jay Kleinman (1868) as “219 Years” at 1940, Charles Hua (1699, new to our club) and Jonathan Phanstiel (1654) as “East Meets West” at 1676½, Joe Felber (2000) and Philip Mathew (1310) as the “Christian Brothers” at 1655 and Paul Denig (1589) and Paul Drazil (684) as “Two Paul” at 1136½. In week two Ken Cruz (1721) and Frank Drazil (1590) came in as “Oldtimers” at 1655.5 with a ½ point bye and Paul Radak (1279) and Marcus Francis (1182) as the “Housemen” (1230½). The defending champion “Islanders” of Brian Karen and Frank Paciulli, the only team to ever sweep all four matches, did not fit under the cap in 2015 (Frank entered with a different partner and then had to withdraw when he found out he’d be on call on Friday nights (he has missed some Monday games at another club)).

The first round pairings of M to the 4th vs. Double Checks, Benighted Knights vs. East Meets West, Christian Brothers vs. 219 Years, Steinitz Eccentrics vs. Unstoppable Knights and Two Paul vs. Wrath of Caro Khan (team on the left side of pairing had White on Board 1 and Black on Board 2) saw the higher-ranked team win with one notable exception: the top table’s match ended in a sweep by M to the 4th. In the third match Felber-Frumkin was a short draw, leaving the responsibility to Kleinman to defeat Paul Radak, who was subbing for Philip Mathew. In the fourth match Sirotnik drew with Lorenzo. The Benighted Knights and Wrath of Caro Khan swept their matches.

The second round pairings were Wrath of Caro Khan vs. Benighted Knights, 219 Years vs. Steinitz Eccentrics, Oldtimers vs. M to the 4th, Double Checks vs. Christian Brothers, East Meets West vs. Housemen and Unstoppable Knights vs. Two Paul. Lawson and Kopiecki drew while Sasmor beat Glad. Frumkin won a pawn from Murphy and then blundered several times to lose while Kleinman and Lorenzo drew. Muwwakkil beat Cruz while Frank Drazil beat Mordukhay, giving us our first drawn match. Arluck beat Felber while Mathew drew Cohen. East meets West and the Unstoppable Knights swept their matches. After two rounds, the Benighted Knights and Steinitz Eccentrics were 2-0, M to the 4th had 1½, Double Checks, 219 Years, Wrath of Caro Khan, East Meets West, Oldtimers and Unstoppable Knights all had 1, and Christian Brothers, Housemen and Two Paul were at 0-2.

Third round pairings were Benighted Knights vs. Steinitz Eccentrics, M to the 4th vs. 219 Years, East Meets West vs. Double Checks, Wrath of Caro Khan vs. Oldtimers, Christian Brothers vs. Unstoppable Knights and Housemen vs. Two Paul. The Benighted Knights and Eccentrics drew their match, as Murphy and Sasmor each won with the Black pieces. Frumkin had to find a replacement for Kleinman due to the latter’s 10 y/o son’s Little League game and recruited Marshall Thursday Action regular and IM Jay Bonin student Frank Bloise (1508), who came all the way from Rockland County. Frank was playing very well and was up an exchange and some pawns when Frumkin salvaged a pawn down draw vs. Muwwakkil, only to see Frank fall into a bizarre mating net after missing a chance to trade Queens. Arluck drew with Charles Hua while Cohen lost to Phanstiel, creating yet another match upset. Wrath of Caro Khan swept the Oldtimers, Christian Brothers and Unstoppable Knights drew on both boards and the last match was also drawn, Paul Denig beating Paul Radak and Paul Drazil losing to Marcus Francis. Now there were three teams at 2½-½, two at 2-1, one at 1½-1½, three at 1-2 and three at ½-2½.

Final round pairings were M to the 4th vs. Benighted Knights, Steinitz Eccentrics vs. Wrath of Caro Khan, Unstoppable Knights vs. East Meets West (the latter having draw odds for the U1700 team prize), Double Checks vs. 219 Years, Oldtimers vs. Housemen and Two Paul vs. Christian Brothers. The Benighted Knights swept, with Ken Sasmor completing a 4-0 tournament to sew up the Board 2 prize. The Steinitz Eccentrics also swept, with Dick Murphy going 4-0 to take the Board 1 prize. As a result, Ken Sasmor may have broken 1900 and Dick Murphy may have broken 2000 for the first time in many years (at age 82!!). They each won a board prize of $66 and their teams each received $42 per player ($110-$55 for the top 2 teams). East Meets West swept its match to take the U1700 team prize of $66. The Double Checks and 219 Years drew on both boards, while the Oldtimers and Christian Brothers each swept its match.

You may be wondering what the significance of the team name “219 Years” was. Remember a big fire in Edgewater NJ in February? John Sterling, the radio voice of the Yankees, lived there and claimed (facetiously, I hope) that he lost 80,000 ties in the fire. If he wore one tie a day, it would take approximately 219 years to wear each one once…

Ed Frumkin and Joe Felber directed for the Queens Chess Club.

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